Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo has announced that a tentative agreement has been reached with the Oakland Athletics to relocate the Major League Baseball team to Las Vegas.
The team has reached the agreement with Lombardo’s office, Nevada Treasurer Zach Conine and Clark County officials to forward a bill for consideration by the state Legislature that would lead to a new 30,000-seat stadium being built on the Las Vegas Strip.
The announcement comes after the A’s last week reached a binding agreement with Bally’s Corporation and Gaming & Leisure Properties Inc. (GLPI) to build a new ballpark on the Tropicana hotel site.
Global casino entertainment company Bally’s, together with GLPI, will assign approximately nine acres of the 35-acre site on Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana Avenue to the A’s or a related stadium authority.
Last week’s announcement marked a change in direction for the A’s, which had previously signed a binding agreement with Red Rock Resorts to build a new ballpark on a 49-acre site at Dean Martin Drive and Tropicana Avenue.
The decision to switch focus is said to revolve around the A’s seeking to reduce the project’s dependency on public funding from the Nevada Legislature, from $500m (£404m/€466m) to $395m. Governor Lombardo confirmed yesterday (Wednesday) that construction of the new stadium is estimated to cost $1.5bn, although the amount of public funding that will be required was not specified.
The tentative agreement is being drafted into legislation that will be introduced in the Nevada Legislature in the coming days to be publicly debated and considered. The stadium will be publicly owned and feature a retractable roof, with more than 14,000 jobs expected to be created during the construction phase.
As part of the proposed legislation, the public-private partnership includes public financing constituting less than 25% of the cost, making it the third-lowest public share of cost for the 14 MLB stadiums built this century.
Lombardo said: “This agreement follows months of negotiations between the state, the county, and the A’s, and I believe it gives us a tremendous opportunity to continue building on the professional sports infrastructure of southern Nevada. Las Vegas is clearly a sports town, and Major League Baseball should be a part of it.”
A’s president Dave Kaval added: “We’re very appreciative of the support from the State of Nevada and Clark County’s leadership. We want to thank Governor Lombardo, the Legislative leadership, the Treasurer, and Clark County Commissioners and staff on the collaborative process. We look forward to advancing this legislation in a responsible way.”
It is hoped that the A’s can break ground on the ballpark project next year, with a view to opening the stadium in time for the 2027 MLB season.
The A’s currently play in Oakland at the Coliseum, the team’s home since 1968, but its lease expires in 2024. The team has been exploring options to build a stadium in Las Vegas and had also pursued plans to construct a new venue in Oakland as part of a $12bn mixed-use project at the Howard Terminal site.
The A’s would become the third major-league franchise to leave Oakland in the space of five years, after the NFL’s Raiders moved to Las Vegas in 2020 and the NBA’s Golden State Warriors moved to San Francisco in 2019.